Cole Palmer responds to ‘billion pound bottlejobs’ jibe

Chelsea forward Cole Palmer has suggested the Blues have been unfairly criticised in the wake of last month’s Carabao Cup final when Gary Neville dubbed them “billion pound bottlejobs”.

Much was made about the age of a number of Liverpool players, with Jurgen Klopp turning to several teenagers due to injuries making the likes of Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szobozlai unavailable.

But the Chelsea squad led by Mauricio Pochettino, which continues to struggle in the bottom half of the Premier League table, isn’t exactly flush with polished veterans. Eight of the 15 players who featured at Wembley were aged 23 or younger, with a 29-year-old Raheem Sterling by far the oldest. Thiago Silva, who wasn’t involved due to injury, is the only outfield player in the whole squad over 30.

Palmer therefore claims that Chelsea’s problems aren’t down to a lack of quality.

“I feel like we’re good enough,” he told i. “We’re young, but we’re good players. So once we gel, we’ll be alright. Try and get to another final in the FA Cup, push as high in the league as we can, and keep going game by game and getting the team to gel.”

Palmer himself is only 21 and the £42.5m price tag for a player with only 41 first-team games under his belt at the time of his transfer from Manchester City raised eyebrows.

“I didn’t even think about the fee when I moved,” he continued. “I just thought, ‘everyone’s talking about the fee, but they’ve not even seen me play’. They’ve seen me play a few times but no one’s actually seen me play. So I didn’t really listen to it. I didn’t know how it was going to go when I came here but to get the opportunity to play every week, that’s why I came – for game time.”

Cole Palmer has become a key player at ChelseaCole Palmer has become a key player at Chelsea

Cole Palmer has become a key player at Chelsea / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Palmer has reiterated his desire for more regular opportunities as a motivating factor for leaving Manchester City, where he had been since 2010, throughout his first season at Chelsea.

Pep Guardiola recently said that responsibility for Palmer moving on lies at his door but doesn’t begrudge the new England international his new found chances at Chelsea.

“After two or three seasons he wanted more minutes than the last season. I understand completely,” Guardiola explained ahead of Palmer facing his old club recently.

“If Palmer had the minutes I gave to Phil [Foden] from the beginning, Cole Palmer would be here – but I didn’t give them to him. That is my responsibility. Why? Because of Bernardo [Silva], Riyad [Mahrez], Phil. In that moment, I chose the other ones.”


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